Congress Has the Legal Power to Investigate Silicon Valley. Let’s Make it Count


Professor Zephyr Teachout wrote an op-ed for The Guardian on congressional power to investigate big corporations, including those that are part of Silicon Valley.

Democratic Congress members should seize the moment. Trump is a major problem, but so too are corporate monopolies, and we need Congress working at full capacity to keep our democracy from both being devoured and drowning. In other words: we need Nancy Pelosi and the House judiciary committee to take the hammer that the supreme court just gave them and use it to investigate corporate malfeasance, and then pass major new legislation to rein in corporate and monopolistic abuses.

The opinion came down just in time for one of the biggest congressional corporate showdowns in a decade. On 27 July, the congressional antitrust subcommittee is holding a major hearing with Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, and Tim Cook, the capstone of a year-long investigation into big tech companies. It is the first major antitrust investigation in 50 years. The goal of the investigation – and the hearing – is to understand how these famously opaque companies work, and to propose major new legislation in order to curtail abuses that are not currently illegal, but bad for our democracy and economy.

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